Chapter 2: I Want This
Daichi at last stepped from the shadows so I could clearly see his features. He had a long, elfish face with dark hair that fell in glossy sheets down a little past his shoulders. I could see that the back of his black hair was a bright red color, and his eyes both matched the back of his head. They were fiery crimson, which indicated he was a powerful being. Demon? Power-blessed human? I had no clue. But the look on his face did give me the heebie-jeebies. This guy really was creepy, no doubt about it. No wonder he scared the little kid to death.
“You will die, ignorant child,” he said to me with that icy voice of his, intoxicated with eons of hate.
“You heard the lady, I ain’t gonna die anytime soon,” I replied coolly, trying my best to look relaxed, but every step Daichi took towards me made me feel colder and colder. He almost seemed to give off an icy aura that would probably end up the death of me if I didn’t get a hold of myself.
Suddenly, just as I was starting to shiver, the girl began to bawl. Daichi and I both turned our full attention to her, forgetting our battle and replacing its first place spot with her.
“What’s the matter, Emi?” Daichi whispered, his voice suddenly losing its frost and turning warm, gentle, and even inviting. He kneeled next to the sobbing girl, whose name was obviously Emi, and began to stroke her hair again. “Is something wrong?”
Emi looked up at his softened expression with big, tearful eyes, her breath coming out in shaky gasps.
“Daichi, no… No dying, Daichi… Please…” She then turned to me, reaching out a tiny hand earnestly. “Sir, please don’t kill Daichi. He’s… all I have left.”
I looked at her blankly for a minute, mulling over what she said. Why would she want to keep something that obviously scared her so badly? It was like keeping a snake around your neck, knowing it could kill you at any moment. I could tell she was careful with him, not wishing to upset the man. But she’d said he was all she had left… Did that mean her family had died, or left her? I nearly felt my heart melt with grief for Emi.
Wait, what? I’m a demon, I had to remind myself. I didn’t care about humans, or anything that had to do with their pathetic existence. But… Emi… Emi felt like something different, something more than a mere human. Something more pure and angelic. Yes, Emi was definitely, infinitely different. And I decided that I liked it.
My hard expression faded as I knelt down and took her pale, fragile hand in my own.
“I won’t kill him if you don’t want me to, Emi. I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do,” I found myself saying, feeling the evil inside me cringe in disgust. Emi smiled through her tears at me and squeezed my hand with her tiny fingers.
“Thank you, sir.” She took a step towards me, away from Daichi, and peered at me with her large blue eyes, the tears drying on her cheeks. “Tell me; what’s your name, sir?”
I smiled softly and let go of her hand.
“Isamu,” I said, standing up and looking down at her. She stood still for a minute, her expression betraying that she was contemplating something, and suddenly turned to Daichi, who looked a little hurt.
“Daichi, can we keep him? Please?” she asked him, clasping her hands in front of her as if she were in prayer. Daichi looked a bit taken aback, as did I. Keep me? What was that supposed to mean?
Daichi glanced at me, a glint of worry in his burning eyes, and then looked back to Emi.
“Why would you want him, my lady? We could find dirt better than him,” said Daichi, not bothering to lower his voice so I wouldn’t hear. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck bristling in annoyance, letting out a low growl.
“What are you two talking about?” I hissed, my hands curling again. “I’m not some pet, you know. I decide my own fate because I have the power to do so!”
Emi cringed as I yelled at them, anger seeping through my carefully built self-control. Immediately I felt a pang of guilt at having been as loud as I was to her, but, unfortunately, I can’t help myself when I’m hungry, confused and pissed off.
Daichi frowned at me, slipping an arm protectively around Emi’s small shoulders.
“Try to restrain yourself, Isamu. We have a lady in our presence,” he said calmly, his eyebrows drawn in his mock scolding. He sighed and turned to Emi, looking at her earnestly. “Are we sure he’s the one, my lady? You can’t shake his kind off once they’re attached.” I snickered.
Emi looked at me for a long while as Daichi watched her face. I returned her examining stare confidently; looking down at her with my eyelids drooped halfway over my eyes in a soft smile. Whatever it was, I could do it better than anyone they might be considering, I was sure.
Daichi leaned in and whispered something in her ear, and it probably wasn’t something that would exactly flatter me. I saw her eyes widen as I looked back at her, my position relaxing gradually until I finally stood casually on the dusty stone floor. She stared at me for what seemed like an eternity, but she at last shrugged out of Daichi’s grip and took a few stumbling steps towards me, clenching her small hands into fists.
“Isamu, be my warrior. Isamu, Demon of Shadow, accompany me in my journey to find my brother. Protect me with your life, and my soul is yours.” It was then that I realized just how sweet she smelled, like a mixture of all the good things in the world put in one. That was the moment I knew, there was no doubt in my mind, that I had to have her soul. I smiled at her, holding out my hand in a business-like way.
“I would be glad to make a deal with you, Emi,” I said, kneeling down again so we were eye-to-eye. I gestured to Daichi. “I suppose you know already the weight that comes with this decision. He told you, right?”
Daichi and Emi both nodded.
“Well, then… What would you like of me, to seal the deal?” Emi glanced back at Daichi, who nodded again in encouragement, waving his hand as if to say “go on”. Emi pursed her lips and walked up to me so that her wonderful scent enveloped me, and pressed a small palm to my chest, right above my beating heart.
“With your permission, I’d like this,” she whispered.